Dr Pamela Woolner
Senior Lecturer in Education
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5470
- Address: Room 2.55 KGVI
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
King George VI Building
Queen Victoria Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
My initial degree was psychology, with the first year as a mathematics/psychology joint honours student. After an MA (Philosophical Issues in Psychology), I completed a PGCE in secondary mathematics and taught in various north-east schools. My PhD (2004) brought together my background in psychology with my experiences of teaching and learning mathematics. I considered the potential of teaching approaches which emphasise either visual or verbal understanding and the impact on learners who might favour one or other mode.
More recently, my interest in investigating the learning environment provided by schools has involved the more active participation of users (including students, teachers, non-teaching staff and the wider community). Participatory research approaches, which I have developed with colleagues in the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT), use a range of visual and spatial activities to both engage and empower participants in sharing their experiences and knowledge.
Currently I am Degree Programme Director for the EdD and teach on a range of ECLS and HaSS modules, mostly centred on research methods. In this role, I draw on my on-going research experience as a member of CfLaT.
Understanding and developing learning environments
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My research interests centre on understanding and developing the physical learning environment. This includes examining the historical and research background to recent developments in school buildings, and investigating the participation of users (including students, teachers, non-teaching staff and the wider community) in the design process. I have become increasingly interested in how visual techniques, including photo elicitation and mapping activities, can facilitate such participation.
I help to support action research undertaken in CfLaT partner schools and by teachers involved with a number of current projects. My background is that of a quantitative researcher, and one of my roles is to provide assistance with quantitative methods and analysis.
Current and Recent Work
Art and SOLE (funded by British Academy)
Experience of support staff and students through a school rebuild under the Priority School Building Programme (funded by PVC discretionary fund)
HE Learning Environments Research and Development Project (funded by Newcastle University ESS)Classroom space: investigating and cataloguing primary school classroom space in north east England (funded by Winifred Smith Fund)
Learning for Change: Review of Rickleton Primary School’s premises (funded by NISR)
Evaluation of Open Futures 2011-2013 (for the Helen Hamlyn Trust)
Helen Burns (EdD) Imagining Better Learning: an exploration of our understanding of imagination, its role in developing our learning and metacognition and how it can be nurtured through the visual arts
Alison Whelan (EdD) The impact and experience of teacher-researchers
Deborah Currans (EdD) Students as researchers in a primary school context
Rebecca Clavell-Bate (EdD) The experience of equine assisted learning for mainstream primary students
Adaoma Menkiti (PhD) The Motivators and Barriers to Students’ and Lecturers’ Efforts in Teaching and Learning in Nigerian Universities Learning Environments
Noelia Cacheiro Quintas (EdD) Online language learning
Fatma Otain (PhD) A case study of the implementation of SOLE in a Saudi Primary School
Sheila McCarter (DAppEdPsy) How Conceptualisations of Learning are revealed by the use of Carpet Space in Primary Schools
Hajah Haji Bungsu (IPhD) Threshold concepts in learning in agriculture
Carl Towler (PhD) Paper Based Rapid Prototyping of a Dilemmatic Pedagogy for the Interpretation of Narrative Texts in Classrooms
Nguyen Du (EdD) Factors influencing teaching for critical thinking in Vietnamese lower secondary schools: a mixed method study focussed on history
Hannah Nichols (DAppEdPsy) ‘It’s like we are getting involved with their world’: an exploration of the environment that supports active learning with 2-3 year olds.
Jill Clark (PhD) The Journey of researching on to researching with –theoretical and methodological challenges within educational research
Lesley Scott (EdD) To what extent does policy and guidance impact on engagement with teaching and learning in a medical context?
Roger Handyside (PhD) A design based research approach to an educational challenge: Developing independent learners using a blended learning environment
Sarah Whyte (EdD) ‘Thinking about our feelings': A pedagogical innovation centred on the skills of emotional intelligence with Third Culture Kids
Jaswinder Jutla (EdD) Becoming a secondary science teacher: An exploration of key personal, professional and situated experiences, and how these shape science teacher identities: a multiple case study
Tania Watson (IPhD) Disability and Challenging Behaviour in Schools: the necessity for a Culpability Model of Disability.
Abd Khalik Khassunah Bin Muzir (PhD) School buildings maintenance in Malaysia: Current practices, key challenges and implications
• Invited expert participant in a private seminar organised by the Capital Analysis Unit at the Department for Education addressing the question, 'What is the impact of the condition and suitability of school buildings on pupil and teacher outcomes (attainment, behaviour, teacher retention etc.)?' (London, Aug 2016). Invited to present expert evidence to the BCSE Great Schools Inquiry, addressing the question ‘What evidence is there of the link between school buildings/environments and educational achievement and broader outcomes for young people?’ (London, Nov 2009). Invited to make presentations about school design to Local Authority Education Committee (Northumberland County Council, 2005), CABE (London, 2006), inter-disciplinary conferences of policy-makers, professionals and academics (Westminster Education Forum: The Future of School Buildings, London, 2013 and 2017; RSA: Designing and Managing Learning Environments, London, 2007) and to architects and educationalists as part of a series of interdisciplinary lectures (Nottingham Univeristy, 2009).
• Invited speaker for international conferences: "School, Space and Territory: British and French perspectives" organised by the LARHRA (Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes) and held at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Lyon, Nov 2013); "Schools for the Future" organised by Universität Koblenz-Landau (Koblenz, July 2014); “School policies and young people's use of places at school” University of Geneva, funded by Swiss national Science Foundation (Geneva, Oct 2014); 'School design and Pedagogy' organised by the University of Iceland (Reykjavik, May 2015).
•Keynote speaker at ‘Talking Spaces 8: Geographies, Practices, Societies’, University of Melbourne, Australia, Feb 2018.
• Invited reviewer of research grants proposals for ESRC, Newton Fund and the Estonian Research Council
• Invited reviewer for British Educational Research Journal, Learning Environments Research, International Journal of Research Method in Education, Teaching and Teacher Education and Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education (and other UK and international journals).
• Advisory Group member for EPSRC funded project, ‘Designing New Schools – putting people at the heart of the process’, based at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, directed by Dr Rosie Parnell. Steering Group member for HEFCE funded project ‘Innovative, effective, enjoyable? Creating the evidence base to deliver productive academic workplaces’, based at the Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, directed by Prof Simon Austin.
Evaluating the Role of the Artist in Building Schools for the Future, Sept 2005 to July 2006: £7,000 (Arts Council England North East).
Facilitating participation in the design process at Seaham College, Feb 2007 to April 2008: £5,000 (Durham County Council)
Exploring the fitting of practice to context at Oakfields Community College, Feb 2011 to June 2011: £10,000 (Creative Partnerships)
Evaluation of Open Futures 2011-2013, June 2012 to Dec 2013: £29,000 (Open Futures Trust)
I am involved in the planning and teaching of two ECLS research methods modules: 'Research Strategies and Methods' (EDU8095), as Module Leader, and 'Research in Practice (EDU8995), as a lecturer. I also lead the first of the compulsory research methods modules taken by EdD students, Practices of Inquiry (EDU8010) and am actively involved in the other two compulsory doctoral methods modules (EDU8011; EDU8207). My teaching input within all these modules has varied but often includes mixed methods design, quantitative methods and visual methods. In addition I contribute to the HaSS module 'Qualitative Methods and Critical Analysis in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS8004).
- Woolner P, Thomas U, Tiplady L. Structural change from physical foundations: The role of the environment in enacting school change. Journal of Educational Change 2018, e-pub ahead of print.
- Woolner P. Collaborative Re-design: Working with School Communities to Understand and Improve their Learning Environments. In: Ellis, RA; Goodyear, P, ed. Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Integrating Perspectives on Research and Practice. Singapore: Springer, 2018, pp.153-172.
- Könings KD, Bovill C, Woolner P. Towards an interdisciplinary model of practice for participatory building design in education. European Journal of Education 2017, 52(3), 306-317.
- Clark J, Laing K, Leat D, Lofthouse R, Thomas U, Tiplady L, Woolner P. Transformation in interdisciplinary research methodology: the importance of shared experiences in landscapes of practice. International Journal of Research and Method in Education 2017, 40(3), 243-256.
- Woolner P, Tiplady L. Adapting School Premises as Part of a Complex Pedagogical Change Programme. In: Stadler-Altmann,U, ed. (English) Learning Environment. Educational and Architectual Views on Schoolbuildings and Classrooms. (German) Lernumgebungen. Erziehungswissenschaftliche und architekturkritische Perspektiven auf Schulgebäude und Klassenzimmer. Opladen/Berlin/Toronto: Barbara Budrich, 2016, pp.69-81.
- Woolner P, ed. School Design Together. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2015.
- Woolner P, Clark A. Developing shared understandings of learning environments: interactions with students, teachers and other professionals. In: Woolner,P, ed. School Design Together. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2015, pp.167-183.
- Singer J, Woolner P. Exchanging ideas for the ever-changing school. In: Woolner,P, ed. School Design Together. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2015, pp.184-208.
- Woolner P, Clark J, Laing K, Thomas U, Tiplady L. A school tries to change: How leaders and teachers understand changes to space and practices in a UK secondary school. Improving Schools 2014, 17(2), 148-162.
- Woolner P, McCarter S, Wall K, Higgins S. Changed learning through changed space: When can a participatory approach to the learning environment challenge preconceptions and alter practice?. Improving Schools 2012, 15(1), 45-60.
- Woolner P, Clark J, Laing K, Thomas U, Tiplady L. Changing spaces: preparing students and teachers for a new learning environment. Children, Youth and Environments 2012, 22(1), 52-74.
- Woolner P. Creating individualised optimal learning environments through participatory design. Educational and Child Psychology 2011, 28(1), 9-19.
- Woolner P. The Design of Learning Spaces. London: Continuum, 2010.
- Woolner P, Clark J, Hall E, Tiplady L, Thomas U, Wall K. Pictures are necessary but not sufficient: using a range of visual methods to engage users about school design. Learning Environments Research 2010, 13(1), 1-22.
- Woolner P, Hall E. Noise in schools: a holistic approach to the issue. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2010, 7(8), 3255-3269.
- Woolner P, Hall E, Wall K, Dennison D. Getting together to improve the school environment: User consultation, participatory design and student voice. Improving Schools 2007, 10(3), 233-248.
- Woolner P, Hall E, Higgins S, McCaughey C, Wall K. A sound foundation? What we know about the impact of environments on learning and the implications for Building Schools for the Future. Oxford Review of Education 2007, 33(1), 47-70.
- Wall K, Higgins S, Hall E, Woolner P. ‘That's not quite the way we see it’: the epistemological challenge of visual data. International Journal of Research & Method in Education 2013, 36(1), 3-22.
- Clark J, Laing K, Tiplady L, Woolner P. Making Connections: Theory and Practice of Using Visual Methods to Aid Participation in Research. Newcastle University: Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, 2013.
- Wall K, Hall E, Woolner P. Visual methodology: previously, now and in the future. International Journal of Research & Method in Education (Special Issue: Problematising visual methods: Philosophy, Ethics and Methodologies) 2012, 35(3), 223.
- Dixon P, Woolner P. Quantitative data analysis: Using SPSS. In: Briggs, A; Coleman, M; Morrison, M, ed. Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management. London: Sage, 2012, pp.340-362.
- Bell J, Woolner P. Developing and using questionnaires. In: Briggs, A.R.J., Coleman, M., Morrison, M, ed. Reserach Methods in Educational Leadership and Management. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2012, pp.266-280.
- McCarter S, Woolner P. How listening to student voice can enable teachers to reflect on and adjust their use of physical space. Educational and Child Psychology 2011, 28(1), 20-32.
- Wright D, Woolner P. What are the significant factors which support the integration of ICT in the mathematics classroom?. In: Oldknow, A; Knights, C, ed. Mathematics Education with Digital Technology. Continuum, 2011, pp.261-267.
- Higgins S, Hall E, Wall K, Woolner P, McCaughey C. The Impact of School Environments: A literature review. London: Design Council, 2005.
- Woolner P, Hall E, Wall K, Higgins S, Blake A, McCaughey C. School building programmes: motivations, consequences and implications. Reading: CfBT, 2005.
- Woolner P. Teaching and Learning Mathematics Visually or Verbally: A Comparison of Two Teaching Approaches and Investigation of Interactions With Pupil Cognitive Style. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology 2006, 5(3), 288-309.
- Woolner P. A comparison of a visual-spatial approach and a verbal approach to teaching mathematics. In: Proceedings of the 28th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 2004, Bergen, Norway.
- Woolner P. Words or Pictures? Comparing a Visual and a Verbal Approach to some Year 7 Mathematics. Mathematics in School 2004, 33(1), 18-22.
- Woolner P, Thomas U, Todd L, Cummings C. How do visually mediated encounters differ from traditional interviews?. In: 1st International Visual Methods Conference. 2009, Leeds, UK.
- Woolner, P, Clark, J, Thomas, U. Using visual activities to mediate a learning conversation about how a school community regards its premises. In: BERA Annual conference 2008. 2008, Edinburgh: British Educational Research Association.
- Cummings C, Laing K, Law J, McLaughlin J, Papps I, Todd L, Woolner P. Can changing aspirations and attitudes impact on educational attainment? A review of interventions. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2012.
- Wall K, Hall E, Baumfield V, Higgins S, Rafferty V, Remedios R, Thomas U, Tiplady L, Towler C, Woolner P. Learning to Learn in Schools Phase 4 and Learning to Learn in Further Education Projects. London: Campaign for Learning, 2010. Annual Report.
- Wright D, Woolner P. Small software for mathematics on hand held technology. London: National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, 2009. Final Report for the NCETM G021.
- Clark J, Laing K, Tiplady L, Woolner P. Making Connections. In: AHRC Connected Communities Showcase. 2013, London, UK: Research Councils UK.
- Clark J, Laing K, Woolner P. Making Connections: Theory and Practice of Using Visual Methods to Aid Children’s Participation in Educational Research. In: ECER 2013, Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research. 2013, Istanbul, Turkey: European Educational Research Association.
- Woolner P, Clark J, Thomas U, Laing K, Tiplady L. Teachers Preparing For Changes to Learning Environment and Practices in a UK Secondary School. In: ECER 2013, Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research. 2013, Istanbul, Turkey: European Educational Research Association.
- Delgaty L, Matthan J, Rawles L, Guidling C, Woolner P, Thomas U. Digital Capabilities and Expectations of Prospective Students: Preparing Higher Education for Learning and Teaching of the Future. In: BERA Conference 2016. 2016, Leeds, UK.
- Delgaty L, Matthan J, Woolner P, Guilding C, Thomas U. Preparing for the future or promoting social inequity? Investigating digital capabilities of prospective university students. In: 48th EUCEN Conference: Crossing borders through lifelong learning- enhancing quality and equity in higher education. 2016, Dublin, Ireland.